Saturday, September 28, 2013

That time that two strangers walked into my house.


So I'm shaking like a leaf right now but I'm going to try to compose myself enough to get this all down.

At maybe 10:00 tonight there's a knock on my front door.  I'm not expecting anyone, but I figure it's probably one of my neighbors reminding me that the community "parking lot party" is coming up soon.    I open the door a little, just enough to see out, and there's a guy there that I don't recognize.  I still have my hand on the door handle, and he tries to open the door further and I stop him.

"Oh," he says.  "This isn't Rebecca's* place."  He immediately turns around and leaves.  "No," I call out after him.  "Sorry."

(I have no idea why I apologized.  For not being Rebecca?  I don't know.)

This didn't bother me too much, and I went about my day.  So I'm sitting at my computer for literally the rest of the night, working on my manuscript and some homework, and it's almost 1 AM now.  When all of a sudden, my cat gets all excited and runs to the door like he does when he sees my mom or Shaun coming.  I hear some noise outside, but it sounds like someone going into Rebecca's place, so I ignore it.

Then I hear the unmistakable sound of my outside door being opened (I have a little hallway outside my main door) and then, before I even have time to investigate, THE DOOR TO MY APARTMENT IS OPEN AND THERE'S A MAN IN MY LIVING ROOM.

My brain was able to comprehend that there was a stranger in my house and that I needed to take action, but it had no idea what type of action to take.  It decided to have me put out both my arms (as though I was warding off an attacker) while shouting as loud as I could, "WHOA! WHOA! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!"  (very effective, brain.)  The poor guy, who had just mistaken my apartment for that of his friends across the way, between his shouts of, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" managed to get out, "Do you know where Paul* lives?"

I slammed the door on him and locked it, but then opened it a crack when I realized he was just looking for his friend.  I apologized (here I go! apologizing again! wtf!) and he assured me that he would have reacted exactly the same way.  I tried to tell him where Paul lived, but my brain was still so panicked that I couldn't even remember who Paul was.  Eventually it sounded like Paul came outside (summoned by the sound of my panicked screaming?) and they left together.

Once he was gone, the rest of my nervous system realized that I had just had a massive adrenaline spike, so I've been shaking uncontrollably for maybe 20 minutes now.  It's 1:30 now and I've finally calmed down a bit.

I cannot believe this happened not only once but TWICE today.  I'm triple checking the lock on my door from now on!

*names have been changed.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Oh and also...

Got my second novel rejection today.  Not that that is exactly good news, but as far as I see it, each rejection brings me that much closer to an acceptance!

Part of their rejection letter:

We are a small, nonprofit literary publisher of six poetry and ten prose titles each year. The limited size of our list requires that we look for an appropriate fit between our editorial vision and that of our authors. After careful consideration, we have decided that your work is not what we’re looking for right now, and we suggest you try another publishing house. Our decision is not an indication of the merit of your manuscript or your ideas; we’re simply not the best home for it. 

Oh well. Onward!


As I mentioned, I was super excited to view an apartment today.  I was really nervous, too.  I dressed up and brought all my required paperwork, figuring I'd be signing a lease today, since the location was completely perfect.

I got there 20 minutes early (it was really close to work) and sat in my car for a little while, waiting.  The week before, I had spoken to the landlord and he had given me the option of checking the place out that week with the superintendent, or waiting until Monday and meeting with him personally--that way he could tell me more about the place and really "make sure I love it" or something.  I agreed to meet him on Monday.

5:25, I get out of the car and go to wait outside the main entrance. I think it's good form to be at least 15 minutes early for meetings, but no one is there yet.  I wait for a while, and at 5:35 I consider that maybe there's a back entrance that they're waiting for me at, not realizing I'm at the front.  So I call the landlord (let's call him Steve) and it rings about 10 times and goes to voicemail.  I leave him a message that basically says, "Hi, Steve.  It's Alison.  We had an appointment at 5:30 for you to show me [address].  I'm just wondering if there's a back door I should go to...? I'm standing out front if you're looking for me. Call me back."

About ten minutes later my phone rings, and it's Steve.
"There's no one there to let you in?"  He asks.  "Are you sure there's no one around?"
I'm literally standing completely by myself on an empty block.  There's street parking in front of me, but my car is the only one there.
"I'm sure."  I tell him.
"I told Bob that you were coming at 5:30 so that he'd show you the place!  Let me call him and call you right back."

...despite the fact that I had made an appointment specifically with STEVE and not Bob.

Steve calls me back in a few minutes and tells me that Bob isn't answering his phone.  Awesome.  Steve doesn't know what to do.  I tell him I'll wait in my car for 20 more minutes while he tries to get in touch with Bob, and if he can't get to him by then, I'll leave and come back tomorrow.

About 20 minutes later Steve calls back.
"Bob should be on his way now.  I'm going to text you his cell phone number."

I'm not sure why I need Bob's cell phone number, but I accept and go back outside to wait by the door. Another 15-20 minutes later, Bob still hasn't shown up, so I text him that I'm going to wait for him in my car.  He says, "Okay.  Be right out."

??????  Be right out?!  What has he been doing this whole time?

About 5-10 minutes later, a guy looking like Kevin Federline with a heroine problem (and that's a compliment) comes towards my car with a friend of his.  Awesome.  He lets me in the building and as I go up the stairs I notice there's been a leak in the ceiling and the soggy tiles have caved in.  Awesome.

"So, how many bedrooms did Steve tell you this place has?"  Bob asked me.
"Oh, I'm looking at the one bedroom."  I say.  He laughs.
"I'll let you be the judge of that."  He says.

He lets me into an apartment that has a decently sized kitchen but...surprise, is not the apartment that was advertised.  The photos showed a big bright living room and a bathroom with a huge window and a tub...this place had trash strewn all around it, broken glass on the floor, and things left behind by the last tenant.  Instead of the tub, there was a tiny triangular stand-up shower.  Instead of the living room with the big windows and a separate bedroom, there was a dark bedroom with a messed up carpet.  It looked, in short, like the kind of hotel room that people check into just to off themselves.

"What's your pet policy?"  I ask.  He laughs again.
"People in this place have pets."  He says.  "I won't tell if you won't.  The landlords never come up here."  (OH that sure inspires confidence.)

In a word, YUCK.  The whole experience was so disappointing.  I had crafted a virtual palace in my head, and it was nowhere near that.  The interior of the complex sucked and was creepy as hell, but if the place had had a living room as promised (and windows on more than just one side of the house!) I MIGHT have considered it, even though the landlord sounds shitty.  As it stands, BOOO.  Back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Happy lots of things!

All of a sudden this year blew up a little with craziness, so I'd like to say congratulations to my friend Stina, on her Hawaiian wedding!  You know those old friends who you don't see nearly enough?  Stina is definitely one of those!  I got to see her at her bridal shower though, I'm very glad she invited me.

Also, I just found out yesterday that another friend of mine is pregnant with her first child, but they haven't made the "official" announcement yet, so I won't mention their names here!  Let's just say I'm super excited for them and will definitely be stealing their child and cloth-diapering it.  I might give it back when they ask, maybe...

In "me" news, I am looking at an apartment next week that I am pretty excited about!  It's in a location that couldn't be more perfect, I just hope I'm not disappointed my the interior.  We'll see!  I said one year ago that I didn't want to spend another year in this apartment, especially not another winter, and maybe I won't have to! That would be a relief!

I'm also thinking about grad school but in a sort of half-assed way.  I'm still not sure if it would really benefit me career-wise, and how the cost would work out.  If student loans are forgiven after 20 years of on-time payments, would that make grad school essentially free?  I mean, if that's the case, shit.  Sign me up for the most prestigious grad school around!  If not, eh.  I might do my masters online!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Hardest Part About Writing Is...

1. Writing every day. I'm tired. I'm hungry. I should clean the house. I'm not feeling well.  My brain is tired. My blog needs updating. Even though I love writing, I seem to always have a million excuses.
2. Finding the right words.  (I probably spend 75% of my writing time with the thesaurus out, because I want a word that means "touch" but it isn't the word "touch" and I can't remember it, although it's on the tip of my tongue...
3. Feeling good about writing.  The more involved I am in a story, the more I think it's complete and utter shit.  For example, right now I hate my novel and cannot wait to put it aside and start writing my new MG fiction manuscript.
4. Sticking to one project at a time.  See above.  I used to allow my mind to go wherever it wanted, but that just left me with three boxes full of unfinished work.  Now I know I have to follow through on projects before I start new ones.
5. Talking about your work.  It's your baby, and talking about it makes you vulnerable and opens everything up for negativity.  Not only that, but you're so close to it that it's hard to explain.  I took part in a twitter pitch contest the other day and it was unbelievably hard to pitch my novel in UNDER 140 characters.  I had to enlist my best friend for some help, and of course, she kicked way more ass than I had.
6. Finding out things you don't know. I literally just sent an email to a company that produces uniforms for big companies.  Why?  Because I have no earthly idea what the ushers wear at The Met, and I need to know this desperately because my main character IS ONE.  Would you believe that NO amount of Googling, YouTubing (or asking my friends) has unearthed an answer?  I need to see a show there, obviously that is the "easy" answer, but it's not in my financial cards right now.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Not sure why I blog.

I know the most successful blogs have a theme, but I'm never quite sure what the "theme" of this blog is.  95% of the time it's me whining, right?  And the other 5% I talk about hair and makeup and cool things I found online.  Ho hum.

Anyway, I'll attempt not to whine right now.  Here's what's going on with me:

-I took on some new responsibilities at work lately, which in a nutshell has been talent scouting for our upcoming video podcast.  It's been really fun!
-At the end of August I vowed that September will be the LAST month I am allowing myself to work on novel revisions.  I have a list of things that need to be attended to, and on October 1st, no matter what state I -think- the manuscript is in, I will be sending it out to a test audience for feedback.  It's currently the 5th and I have 11 more spots that I need to work on.  If I can commit to working on one piece a day, I'll be in good shape!
-Speaking of being in good shape, I weighed in at the gym after month three of busting my ass, only to find NO numeric change.  This sucks, of course, but I am seeing some changes in my arms and legs, and I'm starting to feel "solid" rather than...well, squishy!  So, I'll take what I can get, I guess!  It also helps that one of the girls at work told me she can see my results.
-I applied for an unpaid internship with a publishing company and I am positively on pins and needles waiting to hear back from them!  I really want the opportunity to work for them.

That's all for now!